You will always know where to find him in the night. It is always a noisy place with a glass of alcohol on the table. He has been in this stable relationship for over 18years now, and although he doesn’t keep tabs of the anniversaries, he has never cheated with a cup of hot coffee, or dawa, or soda. If it’s not some cold-warm white cap, it is black and white whiskey; he seems to have a thing for white; he drives an old white KAB Toyota Starlet which he inherited from his old man.
It is Monday 4.30am and Cate the bar maid is high on compassion. She had attended a church service earlier and the pastor delivered a very powerful sermon that sank and touched her. If you knew her before the service, you couldn’t fail to note her change of mood and behavior; kinder, more courteous and if she continues this way, she could be the highest tip collector. The Starlet owner (Starlo) had come to the bar at 2pm and 4 of his friends joined later. They seemed to be having some fun arguing about football, scrutinizing a few asses, and giving Mark side shows for always tagging along her girlfriend who they suspect judges them to the last word before being the snitch. One day, cold war will begin and they will dodge Mark, you don’t joke with BRO CODE. The 4 leave at around 10pm and Starlo is left alone. He has a habit of never caring about Monday blues or Tuesday purples or Wednesday reds, or Thursday whites, or Friday greys, or Saturday blacks or Sunday greens. He drinks every single day and while at it, 3.30am is his official leaving time; not a second later or earlier. 11pm is his official switching off time. Looking at him could take you back to Physics classes when Jack dozed off like a boss. No waiter has ever had the guts to tell him to go home and not sleep in a club; you don’t do that to loyal customers.
Cate has always wanted to talk to him, well, she has a crush on him but she crushes on 110 other men in that club; his is no special case. She wanted him to answer her many questions, probably unpackage why he comes to the club, drink, sleep and leave late. Is he homeless? Why he drinks every single day and when he ever treats Richard and the twins to some breath taking moments. Today she feels is the day to care, show compassion, there is no way that preaching would get lost through the left ear. After serving him two white caps, she opened, took the money and left as if to look for change. Starlo, bald man who judging from his ID number is in his mid-thirties, he was probably taller before his tummy grew. You would be the blindest not to notice his Rolex watch and Kenyan beaded bracelet. Without his specs he cannot even see increased fuel prices, and his half hood puffed jacket confirms his sense of fashion is above average. That he keeps his wallet in the back pocket confirms he was brought up in Kenya. From a hand’s angle, his wife’s name is engraved under the ring in his ring finger on the left hand. From the way he dresses and counts money, I would bet for my kidney that he is a banker.
When Cate brings his change, he is on his 89th dream at 89 years old playing with his great grandson and showing him how long time ago they would take position on a seat, hold one end and start driving an imaginary car making noises like cars. The noise must be of Subaru from his innocent loud snores. Cate taps him gently and he wakes up surprised rubbing his eyes.
“My dear, go home and rest,’’ Cate suggests with the aim of starting a conversation.
On checking his million dollar watch he says `masaa bado mami’. Are you married?
He pauses for 2minutes with his mouth ajar as if not sure of whether to speak. He urges her to seat and moves his mouth closer to her ears.
Young lady, when you become a wife, respect your man. I dread going home, I want to go home drank to escape reality, I hate my marriage and stay for the sake of my two beautiful baby girls who have been influenced by the mother to only see the bad in me. I cannot remember the last time we got intimate; could be when we were making babies. It’s hard to love a woman who disrespects you more so in front of people.
I work so hard to provide for our family; I’ve even paid for her Masters; I have started businesses that have flopped and she showed zero support. She beats me up with words for keeping a small, old car and not buying a big car like my friends or her friend’s husbands. I pay school fees for her two sisters and send upkeep to her parents. She has been jobless for one year until I talked Kenyan to someone who knows a brother of someone prominent. But here she is and instead of appreciating, all she cares about is how people see us poor. I don’t sleep being reminded how her friends are surprised with cars and iphones on their birthdays, as I surprise her with an alcohol breath. She recently got a mortgage plan and I should start paying for the newly found house and my opinion doesn’t count. Her standards dictate that we should not be living in this rented 3bedroom house.
I live one day at a time and drinking makes me forget my troubles a little bit. I want to keep surprising her with alcohol breath. At least alcohol makes sense.